40G and 100G BiDi Transceivers: A Cost-effective Solution for Data Center Deployment

Updated on Jul 20, 2022

FS 100G QSFP28 Transceivers

As data traffic surges, so does the need for higher capacity and higher bandwidth performance in data centers and IT infrastructure. Featured with transmitting and receiving signals over a single strand of fiber, 40G and 100G BiDi transceivers have emerged as a cost-effective solution for fiber optical cable utilization and data center deployment. These two BiDi transceivers will be described in detail below.


Why Is 40G & 100G BiDi Transceiver Getting Popular in Data Centers?

Before the advent of 40G and 100G Bidirectional (BiDi) transceiver, most data centers chose 40GBASE-SR4 optical modules for short-distance transmission over MMF via an MPO/MTP connector. In that case, operators have to replace existing LC MMF patch cords with MPO MMF cables and add more optical fiber to their fiber cable infrastructure, which may lead to all kinds of disruptions and the upgrade process will grow more complicated, too. What's more, the cost of cable management and configuration will also increase.

However, since 40G and 100G BiDi transceivers combine two transmission fibers into one to realize the same 40G and 100G transmission distance as SR4, they can solve the above problems well and are also favored by more and more data centers and IT operators. In addition to the features mentioned above, 40G and 100G BiDi transceivers also have the following advantages.

  • Easy Managed: 40G and 100G BiDi transceivers allow operators to reuse existing MMF cable infrastructure, including patch cords, patch panels and fiber trunks. Besides, they use one port to transmit and receive optical signals of different wavelengths simultaneously, which is easy and convenient to deploy and manage.

  • Cost-saving: Since 40G and 100G BiDi transceivers need less optical fiber and fiber patch panels than SR4 transceivers, they can provide a more cost-effective solution in data center deployments.

  • Time-saving: With the help of 40G and 100G BiDi transceivers, there is no need for operators to add new optical cable to fiber cable infrastructure, and the time to complete network deployment is shorter than with traditional optical transceivers.


Types of BiDi transceivers

Typically, the common BiDi transceivers include 1G SFP BiDi transceiver, 10G SFP+ BiDi transceiver, 25G SFP28 BiDi transceiver, 40G QSFP+ BiDi transceiver, and 100G QSFP28 BiDi transceiver. The following will mainly focus on 40G and 100G BiDi transceivers.

40G BiDi Transceiver

40G BiDi transceiver has two 20G signal channels, which can transmit and receive two wavelengths at the same time over a single MMF, with a transmission distance of up to 100m for OM3 and 150m for OM4. Different from other 40G optical transceivers, 40G BiDi transceiver is equipped with the key electronic components of WDM couplers, enabling it to combine and separate data on one optical fiber according to the wavelength of light.

Besides, 40G BiDi transceiver can reassemble the existing 10G cabling structure to accommodate 40G network connectivity, which is easy to deploy and manage. Apart from being easy-deployment, 40G BiDi transceiver also has the advantages of high performance, cost-effectiveness, and high density, making it an ideal solution for cloud, enterprise and data centers. For more details about 40G BiDi transceivers, please read BiDi Transceiver: A Cost-effective 40G/100G Solution for Enterprise & Data Centers.

40G BiDi Transceiver

100G BiDi Transceiver

Similar to other BiDi transceivers, 100G BiDi transceiver also supports bidirectional data transmission and receiving over single fiber and can reuse the existing duplex LC MMF fiber infrastructure. However, it enables communication at a speed of 100G, which doubles the data transmission capacity.

What's more, 100G BiDi transceiver is designed for use in 100GBASE Ethernet throughput up to 70m with OM3, 100m with OM4 and 150m with OM5 MMF, using a wavelength of 850nm and 900nm via a duplex LC connector. It is usually used for 100GE Ethernet connectivity, data center deployment and High Performance Computing (HPC), etc., which is a cost-effective solution for network capacity upgrades.

100G BiDi Transceiver


40G & 100G BiDi Transceiver Applications

40G and 100G BiDi transceivers are increasingly becoming a very popular choice for data centers as they enable cost-effective solutions and network upgrades without replacing the fiber optic cable infrastructure. The following shows how 40G and 100G BiDi transceivers work to achieve 40G and 100G network connectivity.

40G BiDi Transceivers Application

In the 40G network deployment shown in the figure below, the 40G S8050-20Q4C enterprise switch connects to N5850-48S6Q switch via LC to LC OM3 cables and MTP®-12 OM4, and the QSFP-40G-SR BiDi transceivers are connected to the 40G ports. In this case, a high-performance and cost-effective 40G network connection can be realized.

40G BiDi Transceivers Application

100G BiDi Transceivers Application

As shown in the following figure, two 100G N8560-32C data center switches connect with each other by LC-LC OM4 cables and 100GBASE-SR BiDi transceivers, with a transmission distance of up to 100m, thereby achieving 100G network connectivity.

100G BiDi Transceiver Application

40G/100G BiDi Transceiver Application

In addition to the 40G and 100G BiDi transceivers mentioned above, the dual-rate 40G/100G BiDi transceiver also plays an essential role in data center deployment, especially in the leaf-spine network architecture deployments (as the picture shows below). Since 40G/100G BiDi transceivers support both 40G mode and 100G mode network connectivity, they provide enterprises with a variety of network migration and upgrade options, which are both economical and flexible. What's more, 40G/100G BiDi transceivers also adopt PAM4 and onboard forward error correction (FEC) technologies, greatly improving the data transmission efficiency.

40G/100G BiDi Transceiver Application



In conclusion, 40G and 100G BiDi transceivers provide a cost-effective option for today's data centers and IT operator for their high performance, easy management, low cost, etc. Besides, they are also suitable for 100G Ethernet,enterprise networks and storage area networks applications, which can meet various requirements of companies.

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